economic development

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Economic developmentclick for a larger image
Fig. 51 Economic development. The income per head and economic structure for selected countries, 2002. Source: World Development Report , World Bank, 2004.

economic development

a process of economic transition involving the structural transformation of an economy through INDUSTRIALIZATION and a raising of GROSS NATIONAL PRODUCT and INCOME PER HEAD.

Generally speaking, DEVELOPING COUNTRIES are characterized by subsistence primary production (mainly agriculture) and low levels of income per head; DEVELOPED COUNTRIES are characterized by large manufacturing and service sectors and high levels of income per head.

Capital INVESTMENT is a significant factor in the transformation process. Investment not only enlarges an economy's capacity to produce goods and services and raises the PRODUCTIVITY of resources but also, via multiplier effects, increases aggregate demand and national income. An increase in national income raises the level of savings, reby providing the finance for further capital accumulation. See DEMOGRAPHIC TRANSITION, STRUCTURE OF INDUSTRY, ECONOMIC AID.

Collins Dictionary of Economics, 4th ed. © C. Pass, B. Lowes, L. Davies 2005
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